Despite not winning in the season’s opening two races, Ferrari are favourites to win F1’s 1,000th Grand Prix in China this weekend. Picture: REUTERS
Despite not winning in the season’s opening two races, Ferrari are favourites to win F1’s 1,000th Grand Prix in China this weekend. Picture: REUTERS

Charles Leclerc missed out on his first Formula One victory in Bahrain two weeks ago because of an unprecedented short-circuit in an injection system control unit, his Ferrari team has explained.

The 21-year-old Monegasque driver will be able to use the same power unit in Shanghai, China, this weekend in round three of the championship.

Leclerc finished third in Bahrain after his car lost power with some 10 laps to go while he was leading the race comfortably. Race winner Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas both overtook the youngster before the chequered flag, with the Leclerc salvaging a podium place thanks to the safety car being deployed for the last three laps.

Ferrari said the problem had never been seen before on that particular component.

Leclerc had started on pole position for the first time in his Formula One career and in only his second race with Ferrari.

Shanghai will be the 1,000th Formula One championship Grand Prix and Ferrari will be favourites to win despite champions Mercedes finishing one-two against the odds in the first two races of the season.